HDC approves Darius barn demolition

Discusses sign ordinance violations
Thu, 10/04/2018 - 4:45pm

The New Shoreham Historic District Commission granted approvals for demolishing a barn to rebuild a two-story barn structure at The Darius Inn, and for two exterior mounted air-conditioning units on a mixed-use building on Dodge Street at its Sept. 24 meeting. The commission also discussed possible enforcement actions for alleged violations of the town's sign ordinance.

Darius granted final approval

Christy and Becca Zendt, owners of The Darius Inn on Dodge Street, presented the latest changes to their application to demolish and rebuild a two-story barn structure at the rear of their property as a winterized residential building with a full basement (Calvez, LLC, Plat 6, Lot 119).

This will not be a wholesale demolition. Christy Zendt said they “intend the barn to be dismantled board by board” by local contractor Ben Martin, and the materials will be reused.

The Zendts were granted a zoning variance for the project in April 2017, and had previously submitted plans for the new building to the HDC.

At its September meeting, the Commission gave final approval only for the foundation of the new building, allowing the owners to get a demolition permit for the existing barn and a building permit for the new foundation. Final approval for the new building itself was not given because the construction drawings lacked details on some items. Christy Zendt said they would prefer the Commission schedule a special meeting to consider final approval.

Constructing an addition

Douglas and Amy MacDougall, owners of the second property added to the Historic District outside the district's regular boundaries, are seeking to construct an addition on a single-family dwelling on West Side Road (Plat 18, Lot 6). Although the application was before the HDC for final approval, the Commission found that it was incomplete and could not be approved.

“We need the construction drawings [with] all the detail” for the proposed addition, Penn told the MacDougalls. That is the same level of documentation required to apply for a building permit.

“We'll get you those details,” Douglas MacDougall replied. “It won't slow us down.” The work is planned for next spring, he added, so the project will not be held up.

While they were there, the MacDougalls added, “there's a privy on the property” that they want to replace with a replica. As long as the new building has the same exterior design and materials, the Commissioners replied, it would be a “replacement in kind,” not requiring HDC approval.

“It will be an exact replica,” Douglas MacDougall assured the members, adding: “It's not going to be used.”

Preliminary approval

Holly Herdman presented two applications for the mixed-use building on Dodge Street owned by Robert and Sandy Sherman Enterprises, Inc. (Plat 6, Lot 139). For the three residential rental units in “the yellow part” of the building, Herdman said, two “mini-split” air conditioner units would replace three existing air conditioners mounted through the exterior walls, all on the rear of the building. The holes would be patched, the new condensers would be under the rear deck, and the new piping would be painted to match the exterior wall color.

“This is an ongoing challenge for the Historic District,” Commission Chair Bill Penn remarked, “to figure out how we can accommodate today's need for air conditioning and maintain some historic integrity with the structures.”

The other application would equip the retail shops in the brick-front part of the building with attic vents and store vents to move air in the stores, instead of using air conditioners. Two roof-mounted turbines and three other vents on the back of the building were proposed.

“I thought it was very interesting that the three merchants chose not to have their units air-conditioned,” Penn said.

The Commission approved both preliminary applications in separate actions.

Sign ordinance enforcement

The last item on the HDC's agenda was described as a “discussion regarding possible signage violations and issuance of notifications for possible signage violations.” The Commission's clerk updated the members on several violation notices issued by the town Building Official, some to property owners that had been mentioned at previous HDC meetings. (None of the affected property owners were present at the meeting.)

The clerk said that in many of the cases cited, the ten-day period for correcting or removing the unapproved or illegal sign has passed, and the next step is in the hands of Building Official Marc Tillson. The Zoning Ordinance allows violation notices to be appealed to the Zoning Board of Review.

In particular, the ice cream cones at the Old Harbor View Take-Out “are completely in Marc's hands now, because we have gone way past the ten days,” the clerk said.

Commissioner Arlene Tunney questioned whether the “South Seas” style decorations at the Tigerfish restaurant were compliant. Penn added that the restaurant has not complied with other terms of the HDC's approval, including painting a lattice screening mechanical components.

The next HDC meeting is Monday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.